Gemma Farrell has studied various styles of yoga, including Iyengar, Sivananda, Jivamukti, Yin, Insight, and Integral yoga. Her current approach to teaching yoga fuses the precise alignment principles of Iyengar yoga with the freedom and creativity of a Vinyasa Flow practice, and incorporates the deeper release stretching and meditative aspects of Yin Yoga. Gemma sees yoga as a vehicle for self-discovery and a means for increasing our awareness of the present moment, cultivating wisdom and compassion, and above all, opening our hearts to love and serve others.
Susan Finegold trained to teach Iyengar-style yoga with Joanne Carter and Carol Cook of Simply Yoga in Kingston, NJ, with whom she continues to study. She has also studied with Bobbi Goldin, Dean Lerner, and Kevin Gardner.
Gina McLaughlin has been teaching yoga in the Princeton area for more than 12 years. She has studied at the Sivananda Ashram and Kripalu, and also with Baron Baptiste, Rodney Yee, and Shiva Rea. Gina’s classes are energetic and physically challenging with an emphasis on honoring one’s self without judgment. Traditional and upbeat music with lyrics that are meant to inspire is a hallmark of her classes. Her greatest joy is hearing from her students how their yoga practice has enriched their lives.
For Elizabeth Scura, yoga easily became a way of life. Its fluid movement and ability to ease stress while opening the body and calming the mind became a necessity. After many years of experiencing back pain from scoliosis, she realized the incredible healing benefits of yoga when she replaced her chiropractor with a daily yoga practice. It was then that she decided to become a yoga instructor so she could help others as well. Prior to teaching yoga, Elizabeth spent her time working as a preschool and toddler teacher at Princeton Montessori School and the YWCA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and loves photography, drawing and watercolor. She is certified in both child and adult yoga and is presently enrolled in her third 200 hour teacher training in Hot Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga. Some of her teachers include Brian Kest, Seane Corn, and Shiva Rea. In her classes she encourages students to focus on breath mindfulness, emphasizing the importance of alignment. Elizabeth offers private yoga classes and teaches at studios and schools in the Princeton area.
Arthur (Ato) Co is a chef and martial artist who has been practicing the martial arts since he was eight years old. Originally Chinese, born in the Philippines, he studied Southern Shaolin style of Ngo Cho Kun kung fu at the Heng Han Kung Fu School in Manila. In his twenties, Ato followed his dream to become an American citizen and immigrated to the US in 1984. He owns Sakura Express Japanese Restaurant in downtown Princeton.
Dayananda Steward has been a student of yoga since 1997. He has spent half his life studying various traditions which he incorporates into the Hatha Ashtanga yoga practice he teaches today. Dayanand is a preserver of the Krishnamarcharya lineage following in the steps of K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India and B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, India. Dayanand’s background includes studying Buddhism, Shamanism, Bhakti and traditional Hatha yoga in India. Starting in 1997, he began the practice of Southern Dragon style Kung Fu and soon went in the direction of Yoga Asana practice. After practicing alone daily for two years he found his first teacher, Christopher Hildebrant, teacher and student of K. Pattabhi Jois. After daily practice and in-depth study of the Yoga chikitsa (therapy) and Nadi Shodhana (Nervous system cleansing) sequence of Mysore Ashtanga Yoga,he attended Yoga Sutra NYC School of Advanced Yogic Studies to receive his teaching certification under the guidance of Guta Hedewig, Carl Harlwitz, Christopher Hildebrant, Srivatsa Ramaswami, and Edwin Bryant. Realizing this was not enough education to spread the teachings of yoga, Dayanand set off for Amritapuri Ashram on the Southern tip of India on the coast of the Arabian sea. Here he lived with his Guru Mata Amritananda Mayi Devi A.K.A. Amma the Hugging Saint. Living the traditional life of a Bramhachari he learned the deepest teachings of the Yogic life and after being blessed by his guru he returned to New York where he began to transmit his knowledge to students daily, one on one. With a hunger for more knowledge he set off for India again and studied with Santhosh Kumar in Mysore, India the world capital for Ashtanga Yoga.This time he learned the Kriyas (body purification rites) of Hatha Yoga, the medicinal values of each pose in his sequence, the powerful practice of Pranayama (breath control), and the ancient art of Ayurvedic Tantric massage. Returning to his hometown in Hamilton, NJ, Dayananda has begun to educate and empower yogis almost daily whether in classroom settings or at the park one on one. With half a lifetime of experience, he continues to optimize his practice to make it safe and available for everyone. Dayanand is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, and is presently returning to school to increase his skills in massage therapy and other forms of energetic body therapies. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints, without losing the depth and integrity of each, has helped him develop a unique, direct teaching style.
Greg began practicing yoga in 2010 through the mentorship of his voice teacher Mark Moliterno. This connection between yoga and the voice sparked a deeper interest in the connection of body and mind and the personal freedom that it can bring. He earned his teaching certification through Amazing Yoga, a Baptiste Power Yoga affiliate and continues to study Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, and Anusara yoga styles. The son of two physical therapists, Greg has always been interested in teaching efficient alignment and healthy body mechanics. In his classes, he encourages people to move their bodies in a healthy and non-judgmental way, and finds particular joy in empowering students to find freedom and confidence on-and-off the mat.
Andrea Mecquel (“Mecquel”) is a practitioner and dancer who has been teaching yoga and movement in the Princeton area since 2002. With her degree in Psychology and years of work as a behavioral therapist, Mecquel addresses aspects of the whole person, body and mind, in yoga practice and movement. Rooted in Ashtanga, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Saraswati, and Bhakti traditions, and influenced by the study of modern dance and improvisational techniques, Mecquel seeks to train the body and mind for freedom in movement which comes from strength, range of motion, and awareness. In addition to movement, she teaches meditation and mantra practices. Having completed her training with Kirin Mishra (Parvathi NAnda Nath Saraswati) MEcquel has spent time studying with David Swenson and Jai Uttal, among others. Mecquel is currently studying dance and functional anatomy and Ideokinesis with Rebecca Kazier and Irene Dowd, and improvisational movement with KJ Holmes.
Brigitte Aflalo-Calderon has been teaching yoga for 15 years. She teaches both to adults and children in the US and France, where she resides part of the year. Brigitte believes that yoga can be part of our lives, at any age and in any condition. She sees yoga as a friend, always available, and strives to impart her approach to her students. Her classes offer a supportive environment conducive to nurturing body and soul. As a child’s yoga instructor, Brigitte encourages creativity, spontaneity and camaraderie. A native French-speaker, Brigitte peppers her classes with French words. When she is not teaching or traveling throughout the word, she is writing stories for children. For more information, you may contact her firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although she has been involved with fitness most of her adult life, Michelle Attanasio’s yoga journey started about twelve years ago. Her first experience with yoga began with a Patricia Walden video, which offered her not only physical benefits but also an incredible sense of well being. While she has practiced many different styles of yoga, Michelle feels that her heart is with Iyengar -style yoga. Michelle obtained her 200 hour teacher training certification as well as a restorative yoga teacher training certification with Judith Lasater.
Nina Mongendre teaches Kundalini Yoga, Prenatal and Mommy & Me Yoga. Her mission is to help students connect to the place within that is all knowing, calm and joyful. Kundalini Yoga is referred to as the Yoga of Awareness. It is a dynamic, powerful technology appropriate for all that is designed to trigger an experience of the unchanging Self. In each class, we use movement, sound current, breath and meditation to relax and heal the mind and body, allowing the spirit to flow freely. Nina grew up in a spiritual household, and from an early age recognized a longing to teach and share this experience with others. At the age of 4, Nina had the blessing of spending time with Mother Teresa, an energy that is ever present in her life. Growing up in France, Nina’s early teachers were the books from her parent’s library on yoga, meditation, psychology and philosophy. Later, Nina studied Psychology, Art History and Religion at Brown University, after which she moved to New York, where the connection with Kundalini Yoga was born. After attending her first Kundalini class, it became clear to her that this practice offered the tools for a deep, rich and empowered experience of life. Nina is ever grateful to all her teachers, friends and students. Nina has had the blessing to study with Hari Kaur, Gurmukh, Satkirin, Guru Singh, Tej, Sharon Gannon and David Life. She is the founder of ‘Happy Mama, Happy Child’, and the creative director and editor of GuruSingh.com. Visit her facebook page for tips and inspiration for pregnancy, birth and conscious parenting https://www.facebook.com/happymamahappychild
Heather Artman began practicing yoga in 2005 as a way to relieve stress and calm the mind, but quickly discovered the path of yoga extended well beyond stress relief. As she began to deepen her practice, she wanted to share what she had gained with others and made the life-changing decision to become a Registered Yoga Teacher. Her approach to teaching yoga combines a focus on alignment with the freedom and creativity of Vinyasa flow. Her mission as a yoga teacher is to provide a space and a practice that allows students to explore their own paths through breath awareness and mindfulness and she feels grateful to be a part of each student’s journey.
Ryah Dekis, BA, E-RYT is a 500 level Yoga Alliance Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IYAT). Having a personal yoga practice for over 17 years and a true passion for teaching since 2008, Ryah made her love her life by creating Ryahhh Yoga in 2009. Ryah feels that each and everyone can have a unique and positive relationship with yoga, by finding personal understanding and creating space through the practice- breath, mind, and body. Ryah has extensive training in Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa, Prenatal, Chakra Meditation/Yoga and Meditation. She also loves teaching Reggae Flow, Power and Beginner series. ”
Mikhail began practicing yoga while working on Wall Street as a quantitative portfolio manager. He found that yoga and meditation helped him manage the daily stresses and the demands of his job. Mikhail is passionate about sharing the practical and powerful tools that he uses daily to enhance creativity, increase focus, and lower stress. His teaching style is uplifting, pragmatic and compassionate. Mikhail is also a student of numerology, which appeals to his passion for numbers and data, and he enjoys helping others discover and evolve their personal patterns. Mikhail, his wife Nina, (who also teaches at Gratitude) and their daughter Alaya, recently moved to Princeton from Los Angeles, where they had been studying and teaching yoga and meditation. Mikhail completed his teacher training in 2010 at Golden Bridge Yoga in New York.